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MP3 Players

Crave TV: Roll up for Sony's Rolly

Here you go, said Sony, have a look at this new palm-sized, robotic, dancing boombox. Look, it rolls around and stuff! Er, okay. Sweet. Who's it for, exactly?

Here at CES we expected to see some pretty unusual products. But we don't expect audio gear to come more unusual than Sony's new Rolly. Since it made its first appearance on the Web a few months ago, no-one really knew what to make of Rolly -- it's a music player that kind of dances, kind of rolls around.

Actually, it's a palm-sized, robotic, dancing boombox. At least that's what Sony tells us. At first glance it's hard not to smile. In fact, it's hard not to keep smiling. There's something cute about Rolly, but we're partly smiling out of sympathy -- because it's hard to determine exactly who's going to buy one.

Even Sony didn't give us a solid answer. There was something about it being a viable purchase for a range of consumers, but there was no price stated, no release date given and no further detail about target markets. We're vaguely told it's to be available in 2008, but that's about it.

As for tech specs, it's got a user-replaceable lithium-ion battery that'll keep Rolly dancing for about four hours, or playing music stationary for six. It'll stream audio from a Bluetooth-enabled computer or store MP3 and AAC files in its 2GB of internal flash memory. Two rubber rings stretch around the main body of Rolly, each acting independently to spin and, well, roll Rolly in a bunch of curious ways.

There's no way to know exactly when Rolly's going to roll on into the UK, but rest assured we'll be keeping you all kinds of posted. -Nate Lanxon